New Research for June, 2012

New Muscular Dystrophy Treatment Approach Developed Using Human Stem Cells

Researchers from the University of Minnesota’s Lillehei Heart Institute have effectively treated muscular dystrophy in mice using human stem cells derived from a new process that — for the first time — makes the production of human muscle cells from stem cells efficient and effective.

Clean Animals Result in Fewer E. Coli

Following the E. coli case in Norway in 2006, when 17 people fell ill and one child died after eating mutton sausages, the meat industry introduced a number of measures in order to reduce the risk of food poisoning from meat. Clean animals and good hygiene during slaughtering are essential preconditions for food safety.

Sports and Energy Drinks Responsible for Irreversible Damage to Teeth

A recent study published in the May/June 2012 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, found that an alarming increase in the consumption of sports and energy drinks, especially among adolescents, is causing irreversible damage to teeth — specifically, the high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel, the glossy outer layer of the tooth.

Garlic Compound Fights Source of Food-Borne Illness Better Than Antibiotics

Researchers at Washington State University have found that a compound in garlic is 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics at fighting the Campylobacter bacterium, one of the most common causes of intestinal illness.

Computer Use and Exercise Combo May Reduce the Odds of Having Memory Loss

You think your computer has a lot of memory and if you keep using your computer you may, too. Combining mentally stimulating activities, such as using a computer, with moderate exercise decreases your odds of having memory loss more than computer use or exercise alone, a Mayo Clinic study shows. Previous studies have shown that exercising your body and your mind will help your memory but the new study, published in the May 2012 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, reports a synergistic interaction between computer activities and moderate exercise in “protecting” the brain function in people better than 70 years old.

Risks of Mixing Drugs and Herbal Supplements: What Doctors and Patients Need to Know

Herbal, dietary, and energy or nutritional supplements may offer specific health benefits, but they can also have harmful and even life-threatening effects when combined with commonly used medications. Clinicians need to be aware of and educate their patients about the potential risks of mixing supplements and therapeutic agents, since their interaction can diminish or increase drug levels. This timely topic is explored in a provocative article in Alternative and Complementary Therapies, published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Vitamin K2: New Hope for Parkinson’s Patients?

Neuroscientist Patrik Verstreken, associated with VIB and KU Leuven, succeeded in undoing the effect of one of the genetic defects that leads to Parkinson’s using vitamin K2. His discovery gives hope to Parkinson’s patients.

More Evidence On Clot Risks of Non-Oral Contraceptives

A study published on the British Medical Journal website adds to the evidence that certain non-oral hormonal contraceptives (e.g. skin patches, implants and vaginal rings) carry a higher risk of serious blood clots (known as venous thromboembolism) than others.

New Nutrition Bar Improves Metabolic Biomarkers Linked to Cardiovascular Disease, Cognitive Decline, and Anti-Oxidant Defenses in Only Two Weeks

Scientists at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute’s (CHORI) Nutrition & Metabolism Center, led by National Medal of Science winner Bruce N. Ames, PhD, have developed a low-calorie fruit-based high fiber vitamin and mineral nutrition bar called the “CHORI-bar” that improves biological indicators (increased HDL-c and glutathione, lowered homocysteine) linked to risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and associated decline in anti-oxidant defenses.

Privacy Law Expert Warns of the Perils of Social Media and Social Reading

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120509175813.htm

The Internet and social media have opened up new vistas for people to share preferences in films, books and music. Services such as Spotify and the Washington Post Social Reader already integrate reading and listening into social networks, providing what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls “frictionless sharing.”

Hot Sauce Ingredient Reduces ‘Beer Belly’ Fat as a Weight-Loss Surgery Alternative

According to research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), the ingredient that gives hot sauce its heat could play a role in the future of weight loss.

Self-Worth Needs to Go Beyond Appearance, Experts Say

Women with high family support and limited pressure to achieve the ‘thin and beautiful’ ideal have a more positive body image. That’s according to a new study looking at five factors that may help young women to be more positive about their bodies, in the context of a society where discontent with appearance is common among women.

How Cannabis Use During Adolescence Affects Brain Regions Associated With Schizophrenia

New research from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) published in Nature’s Neuropsychopharmacology has shown physical changes to exist in specific brain areas implicated in schizophrenia following the use of cannabis during adolescence. The research has shown how cannabis use during adolescence can interact with a gene, called the COMT gene, to cause physical changes in the brain.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Clearly Linked to Gut Bacteria

An overgrowth of bacteria in the gut has been definitively linked to Irritable Bowel Syndrome in the results of a new Cedars-Sinai study which used cultures from the small intestine. This is the first study to use this “gold standard” method of connecting bacteria to the cause of the disease that affects an estimated 30 million people in the United States.

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